Traffic concerns help save Cambridge house from demolition

PUBLISHED: 16:10 03 May 2018 | UPDATED: 16:10 03 May 2018

Hills Road residents association are protesting against the devlopment of a property on the corner of Hills Road and Long Road, from left James Berry, Wendy Blyth, and Valerie Lechene . Picture: Keith Heppell

Hills Road residents association are protesting against the devlopment of a property on the corner of Hills Road and Long Road, from left James Berry, Wendy Blyth, and Valerie Lechene . Picture: Keith Heppell

Iliffe Media Ltd

Protestors have saved an Edwardian house from demolition after they objected to plans to replace the home with 15 flats.

Cambridge City Council’s planning committee had been recommended to approve the plans last Wednesday (April 25), despite fears about the impact the scheme would have on the busy Hills Road-Long Road junction. There were also worries that the proposals made no provision for affordable housing.

The plans were rejected, with several members of the committee expressing serious misgivings over the impact the development might have on the surrounding area.

Housing activist Clare King said the committee had to reject the plans because of the lack of provision for affordable housing.

Labour’s Cllr Kevin Price, executive councillor for housing at Cambridge City Council said, with the housing situation in Cambridge being so precarious, new developments that could sustain affordable housing ought to be providing it. “It is of utmost importance that sites that can deliver affordable housing should do,” he said.

Cllr Price noted that, under the current guidelines, developments of 15 or more units needed to provide affordable options.

Queen Edith’s Cllr Tim Moore warned that the additional traffic could cause gridlock.

“This is the major junction that allows people in and out of the city,” said Cllr Moore. “It has been recognised for decades as being a major pinch point. Even one additional vehicle coming out of that could jam up the whole of the south of the city.”

Lib Dem Cllr Moore also warned that Cambridge’s clogged up roads were already causing economic problems, draining productivity with people not arriving on time, and putting people off setting up in the city. He also warned of the potential impact of increased traffic on nearby Addenbrooke’s.

Fellow Lib Dem Cllr Amanda Taylor said 5,000 new jobs would soon be coming to the Biomedical Campus with AstraZeneca and the new Royal Papworth Hospital set to open this year. She warned that allowing further vehicles on the roads in the south of the city risked adding to problems in the area which, she said, was a “recognised accident cluster”.

The city council received more than 170 objections to the scheme while nearby residents suggested that the building, which dates from 1910, could be retained and developed internally only.

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